Friday, May 27, 2011

Who needs help now?

I remember last fall sitting at the anxiety disorders clinic thinking, "It's crazy G's getting all this support - school consultations, cognitive behaviour therapy, psychiatric assessments - when she's doing so well and her brother is the one who needs it." She got weekly CBT to help her flush the school toilet by herself without screaming "we're all going to drown!" Meanwhile, I was homeschooling K part time because he couldn't manage at school. (It turned out K's sudden personality change was a side effect of a medication we put him on to help with his anxiety. Ya, that one backfired.)
 Well, since K got that med out of his system and built up his confidence (the former took 4 months, the latter a year), he's doing peachy. In fact, his music teacher told me yesterday that he's participating fully in music, even on days when the room is filled with the sound of dying magpies aka recorders (my comparison, not hers); in fall he wasn't in music, period.

G, on the other hand. A year ago, we weren't sure whether she was actually on the spectrum. And this spring, we wrote up a funding app that makes her look like a combination between a damsel in distress, an axe murderer's apprentice, and the Saturday Night Live character who smells her own armpits.
The only difference between the kid portrayed in our funding app. and Mary Katherine is one of them has a sensory aversion to socks.

She interrupts/yells/or otherwise prevents anyone including herself from experiencing educational fulfillment 30-50 times per half hour. She's a smart kid, but without someone explaining/reminding/calming her, those smarts remain inaccessible.

When our divisional coordinator who vets the funding apps saw G's, she said, "She's really like this? And she isn't funded yet?" Yup. Our first application in 2010 was denied. Ditto the 2011 one. So we're appealing. Her second question was "Does mom know you're saying these horrible things?" Yup. Who do you think sent the most sensational ones in? (What's the point in having a way with words if you can't use it to help your kids?)

I called my MLA this week, and her assistant called back within 24 hours to tell me if our appeal is denied, call back and she can go to the Minister of Education on our behalf. Same MLA who helped us when we were saving our school from closure. Same MLA who eats hot dogs with us at every school fair and community centre fundraiser. If politicians were puppies, I'd take her home and ask if we can keep her. 

Ironically, the abundant supports at the anxiety clinic G didn't need last year aren't available now. Our psychiatrist decided to have a baby after years of sitting across from weeping parents and hyperactive children. Brave soul.

The good news is I no longer have time to feel anxiety about her not flushing the toilet.